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EDU 540

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1.0: The Introduction

1.1 The Introduction …………………………………………………………..2

1.2 The Statement of the Research Problem ………………………………….3

1.3 The Research Objectives ………………………………………………….3

1.4 The Research Questions …………………………………………………..3

1.5 The Research Hypotheses …………………………………………………3

1.6 The Definition of the Terms ………………………………………………4

1.7 The Limitation of the Study ………………………………………………4

Chapter 2.0: The Literature Review

2.1 The discussion on the sub-topics related to the study …………………….5

2.2 The discussion on the previous researchers ………………………………7

Chapter 3.0: The Research Methodology

3.1 The Research Design ……………………………………………………...8

3.2 The method of data collection …………………………………………….8

3.3 Sample and Sampling ……………………………………………………..9

3.4 The methods of data processing …………………………………………..9

The Bibliography .......................................................................................................10

Chapter 1: Introduction

1.1 Background of The Study

Recently, there has been a growth of social networking sites right before the society’s
eyes. Sites like Friendster, Myspace, High5 and the latest, Facebook, have users glued to the
computer screen typing away comments and messages to friends and relatives. The term “social
networking site” brings the meaning of a medium in the World Wide Web that connects anyone
with the purpose to socialize. The users range from primary school children to even senior
citizens of 50 years and above. Throughout the years, other than to socialize, it has been proven
useful in so many ways, catering to health, social, and now even for educational purposes.

There have been studies done to test and see whether the social networking site,
Facebook correlates to students’ grades and performance in their academic achievement. Some
of these studies are proven true, that there is a connection between students’ grades and their
usage of Facebook but researchers are unsure whether it is a good correlation or not.

And as of late, it is seen that nowadays, not only students use the social networking site,
Facebook, but their lecturers as well. Some of them use for personal reasons; while others and
most of them too, use Facebook as a way to connect to their students online. Lecturers and
students’ meetings are now held in the virtual world, no longer practiced in the real world. This
way is of course easier and faster and much more interesting, but that is not all Facebook has to
offer. It provides users with games to play, and socializing purposes are believed to be the main
reason why students have a Facebook account. Thus, having an account can be useful for
education purposes but it can cause a big distraction. Students can get easily addicted to it, which
leads to the act of procrastination and later, delay of submission of assignments.

Moreover, this research not only focuses on the students’ point of view, but the lecturers
as well. There are lecturers who are known to use Facebook regularly with their students and as
educators; the researcher would like to find out their personal views on this issue, as they are the
ones who are responsible in shaping their students to become better and responsible students.

This research on such issue may seem unimportant, but addiction to Facebook may lead
to unnecessary bad consequences, and students and educators need to see this and address this
problem before it gets worse.
1.2 The Statement of The Research Problem

This study will mainly focus on investigating whether there are significant effects of the
usage of Facebook on students and lecturers’ performance in the education environment.

1.3 The Research Objectives

There are three research objectives that the researcher has come up with. These
objectives will help maintain the focus of the study and its main purpose, as well as the outcome.
The objectives are:

1. To know whether Facebook can assist students in improving their academic studies

2. To find out whether Facebook provide educational benefits to both students and lecturers

3. To seek the rate of importance of the social networking site towards the students and

1.4 The Research Questions

In order to fulfill the objectives of the research, there are questions that are important to
find the answers for, and they are:

1. Is there a significant improvement in students’ academic achievement when using

Facebook regularly?

2. What are the educational outcomes of the usage of Facebook?

3. How important is this social networking site towards students and lecturers?

1.5 The Research Hypotheses

Like the research objectives and questions, there are also three hypotheses the researcher has
come up with, to prove the validity at the end of the research. They are:

1. The usage of Facebook does help improve students’ learning habits and thus, their
academic achievement.

2. There are educational outcomes from using Facebook.

3. It is a must to sign up for the social networking site as it is very important for students
and lecturers to use.

1.6 The Definition of the Terms

There are two categories of definition regarding the research, which are constitutive and

Constitutive definitions:

Facebook: a social networking site created by Mark Zuckerberg, an American computer

programmer and entrepreneur.

Social network: a social structure made of individuals (or organizations) called "nodes," which
are tied (connected) by one or more specific types of interdependency, such as friendship,
kinship, financial exchange, dislike, sexual relationships, or relationships of beliefs, knowledge
or prestige.

Operational definitions:

Social networking site: A website where everyone can create an account and get to know people
from all over the world, and serves many purposes such as business conferences, socializing, and

1.7 Limitation of the Study

This study is limited to the students and lecturers of the Faculty of Education, Campus
Section 17, Shah Alam, Selangor only. Thus, the result of the research cannot be generalized for
other students of other faculties or UiTM campuses or other universities. It may be used but the
users must keep in mind of the limited scope of the research.
Chapter 2: The Literature Review

The researcher has done some research and readings on relevant articles and other researchers’
studies that are related to this research. Some of them are retrieved from online journals as well
as articles.

2.1 The discussion on the sub-topics related to the study

As mentioned in the introduction, having an account at a social networking site online

does give a lot of benefits to oneself. According to the researchers at the University of
Minnesota, they have found that social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook do give
educational benefits to its users.

The study had found that 94 percent of students used the Internet, 82 percent go online at
home, and 77 percent had a profile on a social networking site. The students listed technology
skills as the top lesson, followed by creativity, being open to new or diverse views, and
communication skills when asked what they had learned from using social networking sites.

The samples for this study ranged from students of 16 to 18 years of age, from 13 urban
high schools in the Midwest in the US and the data were collected over six months. After the
study was conducted, the researchers from the University of Minnesota did a follow-up and
randomly selected a subset.

The researchers asked the students questions about their Internet activity especially the
online forum, MySpace which is the most frequent site they go to, that provides users with e-
mail, web communities, and audio and video capabilities. Based on their answers, the researchers
had found that students who use social networking sites “are actually practicing the kinds of 21 st
century skills we want them to develop to be successful today," says Christine Greenhow, a
learning technologies researcher in the University's College of Education and Human
Development and principal investigator of the study.
The outcome of using a social networking site is that “students develop a positive attitude
towards using technology systems, editing and customizing content, and thinking about online
design and layout.” Besides that, they also share their creative original work like poetry and film,
and practicing safe and responsible use of information and technology. The Websites offer
tremendous educational potential."

From the study’s results, not only does it prove that social networking sites offer more
than social fulfillment or potential job contacts, Greenhow also added that they have implications
for educators, who now have a vast opportunity to support what students are learning on the Web

She also said that “now that we know what skills students are learning and what
experiences they're being exposed to, we can help foster and extend those skills.” Educators
would always want to know where their students are coming from and what they are interested in
so they can build on that in their teaching. Greenhow said that “by understanding how students
may be positively using these networking technologies in their daily lives and where the as-yet-
unrecognized educational opportunities are, we can help make schools even more relevant,
connected, and meaningful to kids."

However, only a few students were aware of the academic and professional networking
opportunities that the Web sites provide. Others might think that the social networking sites are
just for socializing purposes only and not more than that. Educators should see this as an
opportunity to work with students and their experiences on social networking sites.

To strengthen the argument that social networking sites are useful and beneficial for
students, a study done by researchers in Ohio State University has concluded that there is no
evident “relationship between use of the popular social networking site and diminished grades.”
Eszter Hargittai, associate professor of communication studies at Northwestern University and a
fellow this year at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society said that they have not
found any evidence that Facebook use correlates with lower academic achievement.

The study was conducted on three different groups, which were a sample of more than
1,000 undergraduates from the University of Illinois, Chicago; a nationally representative cross
sectional sample of 14- to 22-year-olds; and a nationally representative longitudinal panel of
American youth aged 14- to 23. They were unable to detect a “significant negative relationship
between grade point averages and Facebook use.”

Nonetheless, using Facebook excessively does not necessarily bring good outcomes on
academic performance. Students must know how to limit themselves when using the social
networking site or else, their performance in class might deteriorate. But it is just the same as
spending excessive time on another activity, said Hargittai. Students’ performance will decrease
either way, not only because of Facebook. However, he added that they need to “do more
research with more nuanced data to better understand how social networking site usage may
relate to academic performance."

2.2 The discussion on the previous researches

The social networking site, Facebook was created rather recently which was on February
4th, 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, the Co-Founder of Facebook. Because of this, not that many
research has been done on the topic and also because educators had never thought of Facebook
being a medium for students and lecturers or teachers until now. Nevertheless, the researcher has
found some other researches that may be useful in guiding the process of this research.

As stated in a research done by Nadzrah Abu Bakar, “the integration of computers

in education has been discussed widely and much attention has been
devoted to the role of computers in the classroom especially in finding a
better way to implement effective ways to incorporate computers in the
classroom. Technology in the classroom is widely believed to help teachers
promote a constructive class environment and it is viewed by many
researchers to have an influential effect on the teaching and learning process
(Muir-Herzig, 2004). However, the integration of computers in the classroom
may be difficult by some and may not be found effective in teaching and
learning when introduced within the traditional curriculum setting (JulesVan
Belle and Soetaert, 2001).”

From what is stated above, it can be implied that technology of using

computers is helpful to help students learn in class. But nowadays, not only
does the technology restrict its usage to only using CD-ROMs or watching
slideshows, but also with social networking sites. It is not impossible for
lecturers to use the service of Facebook too, for his or her students.

Furthermore, in the research, it is stated that from educators’

perspectives, with a variety of computer-based activities, it can help
facilitate students’ needs and challenge their learning practices (Warschauer
and Healey, 1998). Nonetheless, many findings concluded that letting the
students use computers in the classroom without any concrete activities that
relate to language learning and without any understanding of the conditions
of using computers in the classroom may hinder the total utilization of them
(Bromley, 1998; Gunderson and Anderson, 1999; Hartschuh, 1999; Muir-
Herzig, 2004).

Facebook can easily be used without having any concrete activity of

the usage, thus lecturers need to think of ways on how they can incorporate
such medium in the classroom. Other than using it as a medium to teach, the
lecturers can use Facebook as a way to help assist students’ in their learning
by having forums and such on Facebook.

Chapter 3: The Research Methodology

This chapter will discuss on the research design, the method of data collection, sample
and sampling, and the methods of data processing.

3.1 The Research Design

This study will use the research design of experimental and survey research. The reason for
this is because this research would like to focus on the conditions of students and lecturers when
using Facebook and the aftermath, thus making it experimental and the ways on finding out the
results will be done through interviews and observation, thus classifying it under survey

3.2 The Method of Data Collection

There will be two ways of collecting the data for this research. They are through interviews
and observations.
3.2.1 In-depth Interviews

The method of interviews will be conducted on three chosen lecturers who are known among
the students to use Facebook regularly for classroom purposes. Among the questions that will
be asked are on their views on the social networking site, their personal opinions and what
they think are the outcomes of using Facebook for academic purposes.

3.2.2 Participant Observation

This method will be conducted on four chosen students who use Facebook on a regular basis.
They are required to report their daily usage of the social network site. There are some
aspects that will be examined during the observation, such as the duration of going online in
Facebook, their learning habits, sleeping habits, their purpose of going online and their test

From these two methods, the researcher will compile and evaluate the answers or responds
from students and lecturers and the results will be compared and summarized in order to
answer the three research questions.

3.3 Sample and Sampling

The samples for the research will be the students of ED220 program in Faculty of Education,
Campus Section 17, Shah Alam. However, not all students will participate in this research. The
respondents that will be chosen are from Semester 3, 4, 5 and 6. The reason why students from
the specific semesters are chosen is because it is believed that during these stages or semesters
that the students are starting to or not already well-equipped with how the education system or
ways in the faculty operate. Furthermore, they have gain more experience than students of
Semester 1 and 2. On the other hand, students of Semester 7 and 8 are not chosen as they are
considered ‘seniors’ and are engaged with practicum and their thesis.

3.4 The Method of Data Processing

There are several methods in gathering the data as there are two ways in collecting the data.
For the interviews of the lecturers, their answers will be analyzed and compared. The researcher
will try to find the similarities as well as the differences of each lecturer’s answers and come up
with findings and conclusions. As for the observation, it can be expected that not all of the three
students’ results are the same, but this is what makes the research more interesting. The results of
the observation of the three students will be compared but it is believed that it cannot be
generalized to all.
The Bibliography

1. Abu Bakar, Nadzrah (2007). English Language Activities In Computer-Based Learning

Environment: A Case Study In ESL Malaysian Classroom. Retrieved October 18th, 2009
from http://myais.fsktm.um.edu.my/474/1/Nadzrah_Abu_Bakar.pdf

2. Northwestern University (2009, May 8). Facebook Use Not Found To Correlate
Negatively With College Grades, New Study Shows. Retrieved October 11th, 2009 from

3. University of Minnesota (2008, July 10). Retrieved October 10th, 2009 from

4. Zakaria Kasa, Aida Suraya Md Yunus, Azizan Asmuni, Suhaimi Napis, Bahaman Abu
Samah, Mohd Zul, Mohd Yusoff, Mohd Rizal Mohd Khanafie, Hasmah AbdulWahab,
Sayid Mohamad Nazari Sayid Ismail (2005). KESEDIAAN PELAJAR INSTITUT
Retrieved October 18th, 2009 from http://myais.fsktm.um.edu.my/5402/1/9.pdf

5. Retrieved October 19th, 2009 from